quote:The OP is trying to look at the probablity that Mary would have actually gone to Bethlehem as the story claims.
I think we can, even 2,000 years later, discern whether account is probable and not just possible.
The problem with this approach is that it is extremely improbably for almost any historical event to have occurred exactly as it did. And probabilities are difficult to assign and somewhat misleading for historical events--the events either happened or they didn't.
What is the probability that a Mars-sized body would strike the early earth, throw off a large amount of earth material which would be captured by earth's gravity and condense to form our moon? This is extremely improbable, but it is apparently what happened.
Or what is the probability that you would wake up exactly when you did this morning, follow exactly the schedule that you did, with the exact conversations and events that occurred? It is extremely small, nearly zero. But it happened nonetheless.
We must be careful when discussing probabilities of past events. Low probability does not mean that the event didn't happen.
quote:a. Mary being "heavy with child" would have most certainly meant losing her child on such a massive journey. Even if she had rode, the rough roads, and constant jarring would have caused hemorrhaging within her Uterus, as a result of the child being constantly rubbed against it's walls. Also, the child would be enduring traumatic injury with each violent jar.
Where do you get "heavy" with child? Lk 2:5 only says that she was pregnant. Couldn't she have been only 3-4 months pregnant, in which case the journey would not be nearly so dangerous as you describe?
quote:No. There were three censuses during the reign of Caesar Augustus 28 BC, 8 BC, and 14 AD. Quirinius did not take up Governorship until 6-7AD. This would obviously mean that the first Roman census to occur with Quirinius as Governor of Syria would have been 14AD. This is at least 8 years too late for the supposed birth of Jesus.
Yes, the census at Jesus' birth poses a problem which has no simple solution. The grammar of Luke 2:2 is investigated in The Problem of Luke 2:2, which concludes:
In conclusion, facile solutions do not come naturally to Luke 2:2. This does not, of course, mean that Luke erred. In agreement with Schürmann, Marshall “warns against too easy acceptance of the conclusion that Luke has gone astray here; only the discovery of new historical evidence can lead to a solution of the problem."
quote:The next big problem with the entire story of Luke is that Galilee was not part of the Kingdom of Judah, but was being ruled by Antipas. It was not subject to taxes at the time. Judah was, because it's ruler was just replaced, and put under direct roman control.
No, this division of the kingdom occurred only after the death of Herod the Great (Herod I). Jesus was born while Herod I was king of Galilee as well as Judah.
Where do you get "heavy" with child? Lk 2:5 only says that she was pregnant.
quote:Are you serious? Surely this is a joke?
Luke 2: 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Perhaps you don't realize that the Gospel of Luke was written in Koine Greek, not in King James English? The King James translation of this verse is somewhat misleading. The original Greek simply uses the adjective "pregnant" (egkuos). Nearly all modern translations convey the same sense as the Greek:
NAS: in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
NIV: He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
NET: He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child.
NKJV: to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
ESV: to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
quote:Did you not think to perhaps read the story before commenting?
Did you not think to perhaps check the original or some modern translations before commenting?
quote:Or perhaps he calls it the first registration because the 6 AD census was the first tax census held by the Romans. The facts are:
We have no record of any earlier tax census of Judaea. (Or even a good reason for one to be held)
Are you claiming that Judea was not taxed by Rome before 6 AD? (If it were taxed earlier, there must have been an earlier tax census.)
There is evidence of "a combined census and oath of allegiance to Augustus in 3-2 B.C., perhaps related to the bestowal of the title 'pater patriae' (father of thy country) by the senate on Feb. 5, 2 B.C." This was apparently mentioned by Caesar Augustus and by Josephus, and the fifth-century historian Orosius seems to link this to the birth of Christ:
[Augustus] ordered that a census be taken of each province everywhere and that all men be enrolled. So at that time, Christ was born and was entered on the Roman census list as soon as he was born. This is the earliest and most famous public acknowledgment which marked Caesar as the first of all men and the Romans as lords of the world ... that first and greatest census was taken, since in this one name of Caesar all the peoples of the great nations took oath, and at the same time, through the participation in the census, were made part of one society.
quote:He does mention the revolt though. He specifically mentions it with regard to 'the first registration' (Acts 5:37)
So Luke knew of the revolt but did not write it in his gospel. The only reason he would do this is because the registration he wrote about in the Gospel, was a different registration to the one that resulted in a jewish revolt.
A minor clarification: The registration described in Acts 5:37 is not described by Luke as "the first," while the one in Luke 2:1 is described this way. This is suggestive (but not proof) that they are speaking of two different events.
A leading archaeologist who was a world expert on Asia Minor and on Luke's writings said this:
Again the census (Luke II 1) under Quirinius is pointedly called the first, implying that it was the first of a series of census. A census is known to have been made in Syria by Quirinius in his second government, about 6 A.D., suggesting that they were perhaps decennial. We have no other evidence as to a census in 5-4 B.C.; but when we consider how purely accidental is the evidence for the second census, the want of evidence for the first seems to constitute no argument against the trustworthiness of Luke's statement. (Sir William Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen (New York: Putnam, 1904) pp. 385-386.)
Ramsay pointed out that the evidence for the 6 AD census rests on a single inscription from Venice. This had been lost for some time after its discovery, leading skeptics to doubt both this census and the existence of Quirinius.
quote:If Ramsay said that then he had no idea what he was talking about. The 6 AD census is recorded in Josephus.
Perhaps Ramsay was referring only to firsthand evidence when he called evidence for the 6 AD census "purely accidental?" Josephus' information would have been secondhand at best, since he was born after the census.
At any rate, if anyone is guilty of minimizing Josephus' testimony, it is the biblical critics more than Ramsay. As Ramsay wrote in a footnote on p. 386 regarding the "purely accidental" evidence for the 6 AD census:
An inscription found in Venice is the sole authority. As the stone was lost, the inscription was pronounced a forgery, apparently for no reason except that it mentioned Quirinius's census. Even Mommsen refused to admit it as genuine, until, fortunately, part of the stone was rediscovered.
quote:Luke refers to a census of Judaea held under Quirinius. We have a census of Judaea held in 6AD under Quirinius. Why should we assume that Luke meant some earlier census ?
Do we have extra-biblical records of more than one census under Quirinius? Luke pointedly refers to the "first" census under Quirinius, implying that Quirinius held at least one later census. Why do you assume that the 6 AD census was the first one under Quirinius, and not the second or a later one?
Do we have extra-biblical records of more than one census under Quirinius?
No. We don't have any independent records of ANY Roman census of Judaea prior to 6 AD, or any record of Quirinius holding the governorship of Syria (or any other position that Luke might have meant) prior to 6 AD.
That's not what I asked. To be more specific, do we have any extrabiblical records of another census under Quirinius AFTER the 6 AD census? If so, your case would have more weight.